Montauk Lighthouse
May 3, 2010

My sister Ginger and I finally got out to Montauk Lighthouse together!  I don't remember ever having been to the lighthouse before!

The Montauk Point Light was the first lighthouse in New York State and is the fourth oldest active lighthouse in the U.S.  

It was authorized by the Second Congress, under President George Washington, in 1792.  Construction was completed on Nov. 5, 1796, at a cost of $22,300.

In May 1987, the lighthouse museum opened to the public, operated by the Montauk Historical Society, who leased the property from the US Coast Guard for that purpose. (Museum is 2-story "house" behind me in pic)

 On Sept. 30, 1996, President Bill Clinton signed legislation transferring the lighthouse property over to the Montauk Historical Society.  This is the Gift Shop.

Monument outside the lighthouse.

The lighthouse tower stands 108 feet and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. Its foundation is 13'deep and 9' thick. The walls are 6' thick at the base tapering to 3' thick at the top

One of the ladies on hand tells us about these lights previously used in the lighthouse over the years. The large one in the center is a 3-1/2 Order Bivalve Lens in the Lighthouse Museum. The Lens was in use from 1903 through 1987. It was used for 84 years!

Me climbing the 137 steel steps up inside the lighthouse.  The original stairs were made of wood.

Really cool view looking down through the steps to the stairway below me.

View out one of the stairway windows.

 On Feb. 3, 1987, the last Fresnel lens was replaced with an airport beacon with the strength of 2.5 million candlepower and the lighthouse was automated.

The light flashes every 5 seconds and can be seen a distance of 19 nautical miles.

Beautiful views out of the lantern room.

We know through carbon dating of artifacts that Native Americans lived on Long Island for over 4,000 years.  The Montauketts of Montauk were a peaceful tribe who hunted, fished and farmed the land, keeping cattle and sheep

Me and Gin standing at the open door way to the deck around the top of the lighthouse.

The wind out here was fierce!

That an outhouse down there in the yard?

From the balcony, I saw a small marsh below which we wound up walking right past later.

Taken from the lawn of the lighthouse.  The waves made for beautiful pictures!

A memorial to all those lost at sea.

Old Montauk Highway was laid out in the 1700’s by ranchers who grazed livestock on the Montauk Peninsula.  Montauk is the home of the first cattle ranch in the United States.

It was reported in Nov. 2006 that the US Army Corps of Engineers was planning to build a seawall to solve the continuing erosion problem.  This plan has been opposed by a local surfing group which contends that a seawall would ruin the nearby world renowned surf break, and propose moving the lighthouse back from the shore as was done with Capt Hatters Lighthouse.  Complicating such a move is the terrain that would require the lighthouse be moved down one hill and then up on another hill.

Walking past the marsh to get to the shore.

The reeds made a weird high pitch sound as they rubbed together in the wind!

The area suffered terrible erosion damage just this past winter alone.  I wonder if they have changed their minds about building that seawall now!

 Trying to find a path to the shore around all the dirt and rock slides!
 Ginger said it was unbelievably changed since they were out here just last October!

Gin walking along the beach ahead of me.

In 1898 Teddy Roosevelt and his "Rough Riders" were quarantined at Camp Wikoff when they returned from the Spanish American War. Some twenty five thousand of his troops, victims of yellow fever, recuperated here in Montauk.

Gin on the rocks. This previously was a wide, flat ledge of boulders. Gin is standing on the only trail of it left....all the rest fell forward down the eroded hill. It must have been really bad out there this winter to cause this kind of damage! Ginger said she never would have thought these boulders could collapse like this!

In the 1960s, prefabricated “Leisurama” summer homes, fully furnished right down to the toothbrushes, were built and sold. 

Many of the motels were also built in the 60s, due to Montauk’s increased popularity as a summer resort town.

Beautiful striped rocks!  I love rocks!  Wished this would fit in my pocket to take home with me  :)

This historic landmark has been part of Long Island’s land and seascape for over 200 years and still serves as an active aid to navigation.

This was previously a big curved flat area of rocks to sit and walk on and Gin is standing on the only section that did not collapse!

Oh my....another wonderfully striped rock!!

During WWII much of Montauk was turned into a Navy base; Fort Pond was turned into a seaplane base and Camp Hero was established, disguised to appear from above as a New England fishing village. 

A steam-powered fog signal was installed in 1873. A fog signal building was added in 1897.

Me and Ginger.  The skies turned dark and thunder started to rumble, so we headed to the car after this pic.

The lighthouse has lost 200 feet of land on this side of the island. You can see why it's important to try to prevent further erosion!

The benches around the outskirts of the parking lot were so unusual! I never saw slats held in place like these are.

A large fishing boat heading in before the storm.

Montauk today remains a popular tourist destination and is home to the largest commercial and recreational fishing fleet in New York State.

We drove into town and stopped to browse around in White's Department Store.

It's strange to see the Cherry Blossom tress in bloom again as ours in VA already bloomed and were gone when I left to come up here!

Built in the early 1920's as an office building it is now condos and the only Tall Building in the area!  Certainly stands out!  And has great views on all sides.

Such a beautiful building!

In 1699 the pirate Captain Kidd was said to have buried treasure at the foot of the lighthouse around 1699 at two ponds which today are called “Money Ponds”

Grandstand in the center of town.

Not only does the LIRR come all the way to Montauk now, but there's bus service out here too!  I was surprised by both!

LONG ISLAND is said to be home to more historic windmills than any other part of the country, and most of them are on the East End.  Even after they were no longer in practical use for grinding grain, sawing wood or fulling cloth, the windmills continued to play a role in regional culture.

East Hampton's village-owned Pantigo Mill, built by Samuel Schellinger in 1804, has occupied four sites. In 1917, nearly 40 years after it had last operated, it was bought by Gustav Buek, the owner of ''Home, Sweet Home,'' and installed on the cottage grounds, where it stands today.

Today the 11 remaining windmills, a few with machinery intact, are distinctive local landmarks, symbolic of the region's agricultural heritage.

 It was late evening....close to 7 when this was taken as the over cast sky blocked the setting sun in the distance. So pretty!
What a wonderful afternoon we had!

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